Thursday, December 18, 2014

Cookie Madness

It's back!!!!!!!!! And just in time for National Bake Cookies Day :)

And to be absolutely honest, it was our most efficient one yet.

With three stand mixers, five mixing bowls, and five paddles, how could it not?

And Karen, Jessica's mother-in-law, kept us on track. Instead of Jessica and I realizing we don't have an ingredient and setting out to rummage the cupboards, Karen was all "I got it!" and we kept on going. Running quite smoothly, I must say.

Now, if you would allow me to be completely honest for one tiny moment here, I admit I was not feeling the baking mood. This Christmas has quickly sprung upon me, and at one time I thought I was ahead of the game, and then I turned around and seemed to be buried in my Christmas to-do list. I didn't get any dough prepared ahead of time. I forgot all of my recipes and half of the ingredients for the Apple Snickerdoodles (which just became regular Snickerdoodles with some apple butter in them, and it made them super soft) at home.

However, our set baking date had arrived and it was time to get out the 10 pounds of butter and those cookie sheets!

Oh, check that. Since our baking extravaganza was at Karen's house (near Jessica) I didn't bring my baking sheets or cooling racks. I figured between the two of them we'd have enough. Guess who else forgot her baking sheets and cooling racks? Good thing Jessica's husband didn't mind stopping at GFS, while he was out and about, and picking us up some cookie sheets.

Other than a few forgotten ingredients, recipes, and baking needs, we had a disaster-free baking experience. Our first one EVER. The only mishap came when I was talking to Mama on the phone (to find out how the hard candy making went; my family was doing that the same time we were baking, and since I have yet to master the ability to be in two places at once, I couldn't make it this year. BTW, I'll be posting about my family's hard candy tradition tomorrow) when I accidentally wasn't paying attention after adding the flour to the bowl and set the mixer on high. FLOUR.EVERYWHERE. Good thing my phone was in my hand at the time and not laying beside the mixer as it had been for most of the day. I'm sure I lost at least 1/4 c of flour during that fiasco.

This picture doesn't do the mess justice.

Ai yi yi, Anyhoo, it was nice to have an extra fridge for all our dough. However, what we really needed was another oven or two. This whole only one oven thing really slowed down the fast pace we had developed with the doughs. And we were definitely getting the dough out quickly.

When I said efficient, I wasn't joking. Between the three of us, we managed 12 different recipes. These included Potato Chip Cookies (Karen's favorites), Browned Butters (a doubled recipe I almost wrecked), Lavender Shortbreads, a double batch of Mint Chocolate Chips, Butterballs (see below for recipe), Citrus Butter Cookies (made with doTerra's essential lemon and lime oils), Myles' special sugar cookies (from The Honest Company), Oatmeal-Cherry-Walnuts, (non-apple) Snickerdoodles, and one tray of Pretzel Bark (because Jess accidentally burnt the caramel for the second batch). Although we made the dough for our last two cookies, Karen's Molasses ones and Jessica's Sour Cream Cut-Outs, we didn't get a chance to finish them. It was 6 o'clock and the Sour Cream dough wasn't chilled enough to roll out and cut (but the frosting was made!), and it was 6 o'clock. The molasses could be baked another day.

Jessica and I still had to go back to her house and make cupcakes and banana bread for her son's fourth birthday party the next day. We also had to decorate, clean the house, and fill treat bags. And who was the one that decided all of this was a good idea in one weekend?! We're still pointing fingers. (Oh, and Karen had been up since 6:30 that morning baking and decorating the Daniel Tiger cake.)

Yet, when all was said and done. We did it. We made a dozen different cookies plus three different frostings. We threw a successful and fabulous party. We are over-achievers. We are exhausted.

Karen's Christmas Butterballs

makes about 3 dozen butterballs

1 c unsalted butter
1 t vanilla extract
1 t baking powder
2 1/4 c flour
1/2 c sugar
3/4 c pecans, chopped
powdered sugar

Preheat oven 350 degrees. Cream together butter and sugar; add in vanilla. In separate bowl combine flour and baking powder; add to wet mixture. Mix well and stir in chopped pecans. Bake 10-12 minutes.

Once balls have cooled, roll in powdered sugar and let set completely.

*Note: for some reason these butterballs didn't quite stay in a tight ball form. Just so you know, ball form is what you're aiming for. (I think our oven and kitchen were too warm.) Still delicious though!

With Love and God Bless,

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